Friday, December 13, 2013

What kinds of questions are we asked during a SCAMPI C? What can the interviewees expect?

Dear Appraiser,

What kinds of questions are we asked during a SCAMPI C?  What can the interviewees expect? ~Gary

Great question!  I get this one a lot, and the first answer is "don't worry!" 

A SCAMPI C is simply a gap analysis to determine the current state of the process at your company.  We want to understand how you do the things you do everyday.  

There are four main categories: Project Management, Process Management, Engineering, and Support (tools, measurement, quality, etc).  We don't ask them by category, per se, but we try to stick with project "threads."

We will ask you to describe:

- how did you estimate the scope of that project?
- what happens when a customer asks to change the requirements/features?
- how do you ensure the quality of the designs, code, or specification for your end product?
- how are your teams organized?
- what measures are you capturing?
- what process/approach/tools are you using to ensure document/code/designs are managed?

… and so forth.

There is no "right" answer to any question.  You will not need to know the CMMI, or any of our buzzwords, to have a successful outcome.  We will analyze all of the information, from all of the interviews, and compare it to the practices in the CMMI-DEV model.  That, along with other research we do on your company, will lead to a mapping of strengths and weaknesses weaknesses that can be used to implement improvements at your company.

Interviews are usually held in small groups, either project leadership (PM, Lead Engineer, Lead Tester, etc), or in "functional groups" (engineers, testers, etc).  We usually speak with each group for 1-2 hours.

For more information about the areas of the CMMI, head over to our "What is CMMI" page.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to share this information, or to ask any any other questions you may have.  And have fun!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff pioneered agileCMMI, the leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement. He has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit for more information about engineering strategyperformance innovation , software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

To download eBooks about CMMI, visit Jeff’s Author Page on Amazon.

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